Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 48

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Alys wondered how they’d reached a position where most of their allies were insane Sith, but didn’t have the time to consider it in depth. She was still holding nearly four hundred war droids – and eighteen hundred bounty hunter ships – in reserve, and that was heartbreaking. There was so much that needed doing, the ships couldn’t do most of it, and she had to hold some forces for emergencies – but that meant that there were people she could have sent them to help and wasn’t.

Hm… Did this make her one of the largest individual receivers of stolen property in the galaxy? Would that help her negotiate with Hutts in the future? She could almost feel her parents disapproval all the way from Coruscant – although she liked to think that there’d be some pride as well.

Blast it, with the orbital communication links out of action, and the government virtually monopolizing the few existing hardlinks, she couldn’t confirm success at more than half of the other shield generators. At least the vast majority of the Sith activity – including all the Artificers, most of the Droid Army, and all of Jacob’s button-pushing disruptions – had been concentrated around them. Most of the other cities should be in considerably better shape!

Also, fortunately, an awful lot of the people in “their” city had opted to take vacations, visit relatives, or otherwise get out of town for a bit when all the Sith had moved in… There were still a fair number of casualties though – and half the emergency services were (of course) droids, and a fair number of those were scrambled, most of the human supervisors had gone on vacation – probably via hacking the droids to cover for them.

She had several of the reserve ships, and a small contingent of the reserve droids set up in the area so that they could easily move to defend her location. It was an odd thought, but at the moment at least she was a pretty vital control nexus herself.

From orbit, at least with the naked eye, it was difficult to tell that the planet was still there; between the plasma-shroud wrapped around the shields and the radiation storm, communications with the planet were down and instrumental readings were so degraded as to be almost useless. The local fleet commander had pulled back to higher orbits in clear space and referred the matter to his experts… All this nonsense was harmless enough of course; the slight burden on the shields was trivial – but it did make marvelous cover, and they might well have a madwoman equipped with multiple antimatter warheads running about. Fortunately, while the planetary shields stayed up, she would not be able to reach the surface. There was a strong possibility of an insurrection of course – a series of unexplained events on an occupied planet was a strong indicator of that, and it would obviously be to such a rebellion’s advantage to strike while the shields were up and communications were down – but he had his contingency plans in place for that.

Ben and Jacob were trying to reach Smooche. It looked like Kira and Lazlo were going to need a private miracle to deal with Lecrouss – and all of his apparatus was committed at the moment.

It proved unexpectedly easy to cross the town… As long as it was simply droids his precognition stood him in good stead, and most of the other groups had better things to do than to get involved with a modest contingent of war droids and a couple of “prisoners”.

Unfortunately, the battle around the spaceport was NOT so easy to get by. Missiles, craters, lots of random fire, droids laying siege versus the spaceport defenses and Smooche’s droids, and half of it on movement-response or semi-random. Enough to swamp immediate precognition.

Not enough to stop longer-scale stuff though. It was just barely possible that he’d get through on a run – especially if he asked Alys to clear out an area and try to overload the starport shields for a bit – but the chance of success was small and the chance of being killed was depressingly high. The only really good odds were with going underground – and most of the spaceport substructure was depressingly solid.

There were a couple of tunnels and trenches though – mostly with squads of droids trying to get through. There was s good possibility that they could use that. Wait. There was another possible entrance… one that the droids weren’t bothering with.

He had Alys do some very hurried research. There was an old tunnel that had been… Sealed off because a ship had crashed over it and left it unstable and it had been… cheaper to seal it off than to fix it. It was too narrow, and too unstable for war droids – so they weren’t bothering with it.

WERE THESE PEOPLE PHYSICALLY ALLERGIC TO DOING ANYTHING RIGHT!?!? Sure it was convenient at the moment, but SEALING IT UP WAS NOT THE WAY TO DO CITY MAINTENANCE!

It was still his and Jacob’s best shot. They got their chameleon systems activated, and headed for the tunnel.

Lazlo and I had found an overpass near the stadium that at least gave us some indication of what was going on inside. We could see about 300 droids in the section we had a clear line of sight on. Extrapolating from there gave us over a thousand droids inside the stadium with another two thousand surrounding the place. That was way too many droids to try and handle without one of Ben’s contraptions. Nevermind the Necromantic Artificer I sensed wandering around inside the stadium. I couldn’t get a clear view of Lecrouss himself, but I could see droids hauling in vans full of snacks and such into the stadium. It wasn’t like we had the equipment to do any sniping anyway.

Well, on the plus side, that implied that he wasn’t out to kill the children immediately and was at least putting in a modicum of effort into keeping them calm. That was encouraging on some level but it also made whatever he was planning feel more ominous. In fact, the whole situation felt ominous, like a major storm was approaching over the horizon and I was feeling the chill in the air. Something very important was about to happen and I wasn’t sure what it was. Nor was I sure I could stop it if I had to.

Lazlo spotted a commotion before I did. Looking where he was pointing took a moment for the contact lenses to refocus before I saw a bunch of teenagers heavily modifying a school bus. Details were still hard to make out, but it did look like they were welding plating to the bus along with a nearby stack of missiles.

Oh for the love of….. they couldn’t possibly be so stupid as to believe that would work.

I leapt off the overpass and onto the street below. From there I made straight for the staging area they were using. I heard Lazlo land on the ground behind me as he hustled to catch up. The teenagers saw me before I got to the staging area as they suddenly started lining up with missiles pointed at me. I was readily able to dodge the four missiles aimed at me as I started verbally berating them over the brilliance of their “plan”. Apparently the idiots thought that such “massive firepower” pointed my way would be enough to get me to surrender.

The ensuing argument wasn’t going anywhere, even if arguing was better than active idiocy, when a yellow blur of to my side caught my eye. A quick glance showed that one of the kids had started up the school bus and was attempting to run Lazlo and I down. Lazlo rolled to the side as I made to leap over the bus. Unfortunately, my power responded a bit more forcefully than I anticipated as I went up at bad angle. I then hit the top of the bus, rolled several times, and then hit the pavement face first. Not very graceful to be sure, I then stood up and began brushing myself off when I heard the beeping of a backup alarm. I only had sufficient time to turn around as the rear door impacted my face.

That knocked me back down, and the bus proceeded to back over me. Then, once I was firmly in the middle of the repulsor field, it parked. This was embarrassing to say the least as I looked at the underside of the bus above me. I saw one of the kids try to attack me with a welding torch only to find that the repulsor field was deflecting the flame. Annoyed, I gave serious thought to just using my full power to stand up and throw the bus off of me. That at least would intimidate the teenagers and maybe convince them to drop this insane plan of theirs.

Meanwhile, Lazlo was taking small arms away from the youngsters… Apparently they were smart enough to avoid trying to use missiles in a small area… And were apparently trying to avoid drawing the attention of the war droids.

Wait; how were they managing to avoid being picked up by the droid patrols? They were well within the defense perimeter already.

Alys was wondering the same thing… Had they managed to hack the droid programs while an Artificer was in direct control of them? That would be an incredible feat… No; they’d hacked the city records the war droids were using; they’d… simply listed a dozen or so areas, and some of the entryways to the stadium as being impassable or unusable – and the droids were simply ignoring the places where people couldn’t be.

That was actually pretty clever – and another strike against he “droid army” idea – but there had to either be some reason why it wouldn’t work or something fouling up precognition – or Lecrouss would have picked up on it already.

Hm. Actually that was kind of discouraging. No wonder people thought that only a Jedi could stop a Sith; if they were likely to be stopped by anyone who couldn’t avoid precognition, they just didn’t show up.

Meanwhile, back with Kira…

No, probably wasn’t smart to do that while I was this annoyed. I am not going to fall to the Dark Side just because some punk kids managed to run me over with a bus. Well, if using Force abilities was out of the question right now, then there was only one thing left to try. Stepping into Hypertime, I felt the effects of the repulsor lessen significantly. I rolled to one side and then resumed my verbal assault on them. I heard the school bus start up again as the driver made to run me over again. This time I was ready for it.

Entering Hypertime once again, I rammed my fist through the windshield and removed the keys from the starter. I then leapt back onto the street in front of the bus and twirled the keys on my finger. I saw Lazlo had systematically disarmed the other teenagers of all their missiles as well. The driver looked at the hole in the windshield, the glowing hot sections of the hood where my feet had been, and then at me taunting him with the keys. He determination then wilted at that point.

They finally agreed I wasn’t likely to be a Sith since I hadn’t even bothered to kill any of them. There were still a good number of arguments regarding Ben’s destruction of the universe, hacking droids, my competence, and trying to remain hidden. We determined that they had more school buses being prepared like this one and I got Alys to send some droids to them all to start coordinating this nonsense. It looked like their plan was nothing more than drive in – relying on the droids not starting to fire immediately for some reason – and fire volleys of missiles at Lecrouss in hopes of overwhelming him before he could kill the kids.

I can’t believe they would consider something so idiotic. The number of children likely to die in that scenario was staggering. Even if they did win, the casualties would make it a symbolic victory for the Sith and dishearten the population even further. That can’t be allowed to happen when we are so close to liberating the place. I told the teenagers to go home and find shelter, but they insisted on being prepared to intervene if I screwed up. They especially were not happy to find out my plan was to enter, talk, and try to stall as long as I could for either my companions to do something, or for Lazlo and I to try to kill Lecrouss.

Alys came over the commlink and said something about the kids having set up multiple dead zones of some sort to keep the Sith droids from finding them. Not really understanding what she was describing verbally, I told her to do what she could to prevent Lecrouss from getting more children while keeping these teens from doing something stupid. She didn’t seem happy with the idea, but went along with it for now.

Out at the spaceport, Ben and Jacob had reached the tunnel entrance – and Jecob promptly used his lightsaber collection to slice through the seal.

Unfortunately, that drew the attention of the Droids – and so Jacob tried to pick up Ben and go for a high-speed flythrough. Between Ben’s precognition and his droid-brain augmented piloting system, he nearly made it too. He was approaching the crater that would let them exit inside the spaceport when he dodged a partial blockage and found that there wasn’t any floor to repulse himself from.

Ben promptly provided a panicked force-boost up – while Jacob poured power into his repulsor systems to boost himself off the walls. Between them, they were abruptly headed for the ceiling at very high speed.

Jacobs armor and shields were not enough, although the shield-overload cracked the pavement above. He was stunned by the collision – but Ben figured that he was going to die. He REALLY wanted Kira’s phasing ability right then (and the player had banked enough XP to buy it on the spot). He passed through the stone like a wisp of mist, and found himself drifting up into the sky as a see-through ghost.

Naturally enough, he concluded that he’d been killed instantly – and dropped back to first rescue, and then haunt, Jacob.

Jacob was not pleased at the prospect of being haunted until he died or got eaten by Zandramas, but it was hard to argue with a cranky force-ghost.

With more controlled levitation Ben helped Jacob get out of the pit, and then into the spaceport – and Jacob promptly got poked by one of Smooche’s droids and… instantly frozen?

How was that… a subspace transfer. Instantaneous loss of radiant energy. Damned close to absolute zero in a single instant. Clever, if impractical for normal folk… The droids stuck Jacob in a freezer for later thawing (or disposal) and – since force ghosts were Smooches business – pointed him towards the lab.

Wait, if he was a force ghost, how could the Droids see him? Was it just that they were being boosted by an Artificer? At least Smooche was willing to thaw Jacob and help set up the electricity-draining effect to help out Kira with the droids.

Meanwhile, some of the better bounty hunters had been doing some signal-tracing – which wasn’t easy at the moment. They’d narrowed Alys position down quite a bit, and were headed that way. They wanted their ships back – and it looked like whoever was behind the hacking might really be the group mastermind. A big prize, especially with all those stolen Sith resources…

Back with Kira and Lazlo…

That left Lazlo and I walking towards the stadium. Eventually once we got close enough, one of the droid patrols intercepted us and demanded to know who we were. Identifying ourselves as Kira Keldav and Lazlo, the droids then proceeded to demand we surrender. Which led to a most…. interesting scenario as we surrendered and the droids were confused as to what to do about it. When asked, the droids then revealed that they had been ordered to apprehend some 2,416 individuals. 314 of those had been dead over two hundred years. Another 689 were believed to be fictional, and the remaining 1,413 were probably not within a thousand light years of this world.

That was….. disturbing. I mean, Xiang being unable to distinguish what was real and what was fantasy was one thing, but this was on another level of delusion entirely. It looks like Lecrouss was even unable to tell that someone had been dead for centuries. Either he was that focused on his task, or something else had badly damaged his mind to this extent. What information we got from Ichara and Smoche was that Lecrouss was more than a bit odd, even by their standards.

Eventually the droids decided to escort us to Lecrouss to get further directions. They then proceeded to disarm me as best they could, but only found the lightsaber on my belt. All the stuff I had hidden in secret pockets was nicely overlooked. Once inside the stadium, I could see approximately a thousand children in here and close to five hundred droids on the inside. Droids were busily handing out snacks and treats while also keeping the children divided into two groups.

They had a problem with Lazlo too, since he was listed as an indestructible bioweapon – and was supposedly capable of nigh-infinite feats of strength. As a Jedi, disarming Kira just meant taking away his lightsaber. Disarming Lazlo was impossible… Ergo, they rummaged through the listing of restraints until they found one for immensely-strong entities that was supposed to be unbreakable.

They insisted that he take a Wookie oath of surrender before letting him in.

Why they were keeping them divided was unclear, but we saw Lecrouss walking amongst one group. As he touched each child in turn, the child would then be escorted to the other group. All I was initially able to sense was that something really weird was happening with the Force as he touched them, but Lazlo whispered that Lecrouss was creating links of some sort with the children. Once he pointed it out to me, it became easier to see what was happening.

It looked superficially like the Pyramid Technique Lazlo had learned back on Chyran. However, something wasn’t right with it, as it looked to actually be controlled as opposed to that poorly aimed mess Lazar used. Then I realized why the Force looked so odd while he did it, he was using the Codex to limit the feedback and throughput. At first I thought it a monotalent, but then I saw indications that he was actively balancing the power flows himself. This wasn’t a natural monotalent, but an accurate mimicking of a monotalent using the Force and Codex!

Oh hell.

That meant this nut was a hybrid on some level too. And that he had figured out how to do one of the major tricks that would give a hybrid a major leg up on Sith and Faded. Finally, Lecrouss noticed Lazlo and I and demanded to know who we were. Introducing ourselves didn’t get a lick of recognition. Lecrouss turned to the droids and demanded an explantion. The droids then proceeded to recount a description of who we were, why he had wanted us, and then informing him that we had surrendered to his custody.

The sheer amount of time and information it took for recognition to hit him was disheartening to say the least. I was really hoping for a reaction like Smooche and Ichara where they immediately focused on me to the exclusion of all else while they tried to get the information they wanted. Lecrouss then said something to the effect of “low priority” and then went back to work binding the children.

Lazlo at least succeeded in getting him talking to us while he did it. That slowed Lecrouss down some and got him talking about the process he was doing. From that jumbled mess of mysticism and fictional lore, I got some inkling as to what he thought he was doing and what it might mean with regards to the use of monotalents, but I was going to have to review the recordings of the conversation repeatedly with the others to really make any sense of that load of nonsense. When he started going on about undead stars and the death of the cosmos, I felt the need to point out that not even black holes really were undead in any sense.

This then prompted the question from Lecrouss as to how else to save civilization from “Heat Death” if not through necromantic unlife? I really didn’t want to go into details about the Final Empire, but I did tell him I felt any prognosis about final fate of the galaxy was extremely premature. Lazlo chastised me on believing I could alter the final fate of the universe all by myself. I almost pointed out that the Final Empire recorded our group by names as the people that made it possible to avoid the “Heat Death”.

I wasn’t sure if that was an arrogant argument to make or not.

Jacob, meanwhile, had been dispatched with some of Smooche’s war-droids – while Ben and Smooche built weird devices – to get the stasis generator they’d left behind.

Unfortunately, there turned out the be a Sith, one of Zandramas’s possessed agents, and a bunch of droids trying to investigate it. Apparently the Sith had been trying to push things in with a massive force-ram, and had been exerting hundreds of tons of pressure on something just past the edge of the field (the first droid he’d put in) for hours now.

Jacob managed to dive in despite nearly getting caught – but was unable to keep the Sith from getting a partial link onto him. Worse, he dived in, started to fall, touched the droid that had been being accelerated at hundreds of G’s by the Force-ram for hours, which jerked ahead, and stopped in stasis while he fell to it, and so on repeatedly – thanks to Jacob being a little stunned – until it drilled it’s way through the floor, came out the bottom of the field, and turned into a fireball which blew Jacob back up through the field and – thanks to the stabilizing thrusts of his droid-brain controlled repulsors – straight back up the shaft he’d created to confront the Sith.

He then fell back in – but found the Sith was stronger than he was by a substantial margin, and – now that he had a good telekinetic grip – was pulling him back out.

He pulled the generator to himself – and once the Sith was inside, and was relying on Jacob to supply him with time, dispatched him relatively easily. After that, escaping with the generator, and getting back with it, wasn’t too hard. He was very hard to stop while carrying a second stage stasis generator, even if he was encumbered by another one of Zandramas’s minions.

When he got back to the Spaceport, Ben and Smooche were almost ready to head for the stadium.

Nonetheless, as Lazlo and Lecrouss talked about links, I spent more time watching the process at work. That, combined with Lazlo’s questions and Lecrouss’s answers gave me a better estimate of what Lecrouss was able to use the links for. It did look like the children would get a minor trickle of power flow back along the link so that they would be a little healthier and such, but the majority of the benefit went to Lecrouss. He can a significant power boost drawing on so many like that, and attempts to kill him would result in probably fatal damage being transferred to half of the children at least. This combined with his already considerable power made the prospect of fighting him dismal.

I saw Zandaras’s minion watching us closely, but did my best to shield my Force presence to the level of a minor apprentice. I wasn’t sure enough about what the relationship was between Zandaras and Lecrouss to risk taking out the Zandaras minion just yet. Hopefully I will get enough warning that things are about to go sour to take out the minion first.

Meanwhile Lazlo was able to get some history out of Lecrouss and a bit more on his motivations. Apparently, Lecrouss and his wife had a deep link between them. That sounded like the Bonding thing I’ve heard about in Holos and such where two affectionate Force users become closely linked and share a deep resonating bond. Exact details always seemed to vary with the writers, but in general the whole thing had a mystical romantic air to it.

Lecrouss also had lesser bonds with his children too. Unfortunately, it looked like his family was killed in a space disaster some time ago. The trauma of the loss deeply affected his mind and resulted in a downward spiral into madness. This led to an obsession with reviving his dead family through whatever means necessary. The combination of the trauma, obsession, and Dark Side induced madness had left his mind more or less an empty shell of his former self.

In many ways, I think it would be fair to say that Lecrouss died the day his family did. His body just hasn’t caught up yet. Something about that started sounding alarms in the back of my brain though, but I don’t know why.

The bonds he was creating looked like something I could sever, but Lecrouss was bound to resist the effort once he became aware of it. Unfortunately, he had enough power to readily overwhelm my efforts if he wanted to. Distance would help, but our ability to take the children offworld was rather limited right now, and I wasn’t going to let this madman run loose while we worked on ending the siege.

I really hated to be asking yet another favor of A-Valerie and Akira, but they were growing to be our only choice in the matter. If we could send the children to the Codifier Galaxy to break the bonds, then we stood a chance of pulling it off. But that meant we had to get the children away from him first. Lazlo solved that when he got Lecrouss to agree to let us take the children already processed by him. The order then went out to the droids to give us the right permissions for that.

That neatly cleaned up the necessary point of dealing with the droids once Lecrouss was incapacitated. We could evacuate the children and the droids won’t raise a finger to stop us. Cutting off the supply of additional children should then give us the chance to keep him from linking more while we evacuate this batch. Now we just needed to find a way to incapacitate him before he can give new orders to the droids.

I called Alys over the commlink and asked her to send a ship to let us begin the evacuation process. While we waited for the ship, I heard Lazlo and Lecrouss discussing links again. The conversation had swung back around to necromancy and undeath when Lecrouss then offered a demonstration of something undead. At first I thought he was going to do something to one of the children, but he just waved his hand and announced that they would arrive from the cemetary shortly.

Shortly thereafter a ship appeared above the stadium as it manuevered for a place to land. Suddenly I felt a massive surge of Force power coming from Lecrouss. Turning to look at him, I saw that he had gripped the ship with telekinesis and was steadily pulling it to the ground with raw power. This was even more unnerving when I saw the ship fire it’s thrusters hard to try and counter the effect. Within moments Lecrouss had forced the ship to land and was examining it. Then he dismissed it as just a droid piloting it and flung the ship back into the air.

I asked Lecrouss to leave the ship alone since it was one of ours. This started the line of inquiry from him as to why we had bounty hunter ships piloted by droids, but I deflected that with the comment that we were very good at stealing the property of our enemies. Lecrouss eventually relented and allowed the ship to land. I started directing the children aboard the ship. Soon enough it was full and left and Alys said another one would be arriving shortly.

This led to an argument between all the different party members over what to do with the situation. Ben was not happy to hear I wanted a Trans-Temporal Hypertunnel again. Alys wasn’t happy with the request on my end to evacuate the city. Lazlo wanted to try and reform Lecrouss. I argued that Lecrouss was practically dead and there wasn’t anything left to reform. I argued that Lecrouss was so far gone, he took the cake. On second thought, Lecrouss didn’t just take the cake, he took the brownies, the cupcakes, the doughnuts, and the entire friggin bakeoff. The argument got dropped at that point as it was established that first priority was limiting the damage to the children.

Meanwhile, a commotion had started among some of the children on the far side of the stadium. Focusing my attention in that direction, I saw the children were upset by a pair of shambling corpses coming our way. I quickly verified the…. undead were not hurting the children yet and held my position. Looking at them closely through the Force, I couldn’t really say they were what I would have expected for an undead monstrousity. As best as I could tell, the only reason the things were moving was because Lecrouss was actively supplying energy to it moving. once that ran out, it would shortly thereafter stop.

Not all that different from what Ichara and the other Artificers do with machines.

Lazlo then asked a question about how could such an arrangement possibly be self sustaining. Then my precognition started shouting warnings at me as I saw Lecrouss announce he was going to use one of the kids to give a more effective demonstration. I felt a massive surge of power build up as I can only guess Lecrouss was about to kill the small child.

Without even really thinking, I flashed into Hypertime and tackled Lecrouss with all the power I could. We rolled several times as I felt massive wave of necromatic energy wash over me. That didn’t do any crippling damage so far – although it looked like Lazlo had pulled his grounding trick again and taken most of the blast. He obviously couldn’t survive doing that again though. I could see Lecrouss’s furious face slowly turn to look at me as we stopped rolling and I could sense he was about to fire off another serious blast. Keeping a firm grip on Lecrouss, I reached down with my other hand and pressed the button on the Ultimate Dodge belt Ben had given me. Everything then went white.

When awareness returned, I found myself situated in a swirling mist of blue and white. I could tell I was slowly losing air, but it looked like the Codex environment technique activated unconsciously to slow things down. I pulled out the breath mask I had on my belt and put it on. That bought me more time, but I wasn’t sure how much I needed or whether there was any point to it.

Lecrouss was nowhere that I could see, although the concept of place was more than a bit odd here. At least that meant I didn’t have an insane necromantic Sith out for revenge to deal with right now. Looking down at the Ultimate Dodge belt, I was dismayed to see the amount of heavy damage it had taken. I didn’t need Codex probability analysis to guess the thing wasn’t going to be able to take me back. Given that and the fact Lecrouss was nowhere to be seen, I concluded something had gone drastically wrong with Ben’s design.

Well crap.

The odds of the others being able to mount a rescue were abysmal. Any other form of outside intervention coming into play was inconceivable. That meant I was on my own to figure a way out of this mess. I know intuitive navigation can help with plotting courses through hyperspace, but I wasn’t even sure what traveling through hyperspace even meant in this scenario. That also didn’t give me any clue as to what to do about transitioning back to normal space either. I seriously doubt the Jedi or the Sith had any techniques for moving through hyperspace without a ship.

Blast it!

This day hasn’t gone well from the start. The schoolbus was just an omen to this humiliating disaster. At least I might have given the others time to figure out how to deal with Lecrouss and save the children. That did bring me some small measure of comfort as I “float” wherever I am. There has to be a way out of this….

I then became aware of a strong pulsing link to me. It was the only such thing I could sense out here in this…. mist. Not really understanding what I was doing, I reached out instinctively and grasped that thread. I could sense another person on the other side of it, but the details were hard to make out. Not really knowing what else to do, I gently tugged a few times on the thread and found it to be solid. With that confirmation, I took a firm grip on the thread and pulled myself towards it.

Again everything went white.

Back at the stadium, there had been initial confusion when Kira and Lecrouss had vanished – but they’d kept Lecrouss talking long enough; Ben and Jacob and Smooche had arrived before the Droids had sorted out what to do and shut them down with the electrical-drain trick for long enough for all those kids with missile launchers to blow most of them up and Jacob had used the stasis generator to clean up the remainder.

Unfortunately, it seemed that Lecrouss was both active in hyperspace, capable of surviving there, and capable of projecting his power through the children he was linked to. They’d have to keep them in stasis until they could get them out of Lecrouss’s range.

Hopefully Kira was still alive – but the prospects were dim. He should have gone to wherever Lecrouss had – yet Lecrouss seemed to be free to try and exploit his links with the kids. That didn’t sound good for Kira.

System Inventory

Basic Role-Playing

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Thanks to a special request – “what could we play?” here’s a quick survey of the games currently on my shelves. There are probably a few more buried in boxes and things, and there are quite a lot more on PDF – but it’s hard to hand a PDF to someone at the table and let them leaf through it, so I prefer to run games I actually have a physical copy of if possible.

Obviously enough, this is going to be a giant list: sorry about that, but there’s just no other way. Note that this does NOT include sub-games, supplements, and d20 stuff in general except to note the presence of the d20 category. That would boost the length of this list many times over.

  1. 2300 AD
  2. 7’th Sea
  3. Aberrant
  4. Ace Supers
  5. Ace Agents
  6. AD&D (first and second editions, with innumerable settings and supplements)
  7. Adventure (the White Wolf version).
  8. Adventures in Fantasy
  9. After Wars
  10. Aftermath (a game with the most complex combat flowchart around).
  11. Agone
  12. Alternity
  13. Amazing Engine (with an assortment of worldbooks).
  14. Amber (still one of the few systems out there that gets along without a randomizer).
  15. Apocalypse
  16. Arcanum
  17. Arduin
  18. Aria (a game where characters, clans, and societies use pretty much the same rules).
  19. Army Ants (literally; you play militarized insects battling it out in the back yard).
  20. Ars Magica (one of the few RPG’s that embraces troupe play).
  21. Asylum (where hallucinogens from the sky have made the entire human race psychotic).
  22. Attack of the Humans
  23. Baba Yaga (designed for a WWII game with a bit of mysticism, but a universal system).
  24. Basic Role-Playing System (the base for Runequest, Nephelim, Call of Cthulhu, and many more).
  25. Basic D&D (and assorted expansions)
  26. Bastet (an Old World of Darkness race).
  27. Batman (a stripped-down version of DC Heroes).
  28. Battlelords
  29. Beyond the Supernatural
  30. Big Eyes Small Mouth (the original Tri-Stat system).
  31. Birthright (Included as separate from normal AD&D thanks to the boardgame aspect).
  32. Blood Dawn
  33. Blood of Heroes
  34. Bloodshadows
  35. Boot Hill
  36. Brave New World (a world where your superpowers are usually less effective than buying a gun – and the upgraded version of the game never came out).
  37. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  38. Bullwinkle and Rocky (OK, this one is for kids – but it’s still a role-playing game that includes hand puppets to help you show what your character is doing).
  39. Bureau 13 (if someone wants Ghostbusters, this is a good contender).
  40. Bushido (one of the classics when it comes to oriental role playing games).
  41. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (this would doubtless have attracted me more if I’d ever read the original comic).
  42. Call of Cthulhu (not the d20 version, that’s under general d20. Still a classic).
  43. Castle Falkenstein
  44. Chainmail (again, not exactly a RPG, but ancestral).
  45. Champions / Hero System (1’st through 5’th edition).
  46. Changeling, The Dreaming
  47. Children of the Sun
  48. Chill
  49. Chivalry and Sorcery
  50. Chosen
  51. Continuum
  52. Continuum II (one of my personal rules sets).
  53. Corax (another Old World of Darkness were-race).
  54. CORPS
  55. Cosmic Enforcers
  56. Creature Feature (technically an expansion for Chill, but turning it around to play the monsters is pretty much a whole new game).
  57. Critter Commandos (for kids, but where else can all your soldiers be represented by stuffed animals?)
  58. Cybergeneration (amusing, if unlikely – and featuring nanotech that might as well be magic).
  59. Cyberpunk
  60. Cyberspace (a Rolemaster supplement, but one that really rewrites the world).
  61. Cyborg Commando (not one of Gygax’s better efforts unfortunately).
  62. d20 (3.0, 3.5, Future, and far too many variants to list)
  63. d20 Eclipse Point Buy
  64. d6 (Fantasy and assortment)
  65. Danger Quest
  66. Dangerous Journeys (another one of Gygax’s, and with potential – if a bit turgid in spots).
  67. Dark Conspiracy
  68. DC Heroes
  69. Deadlands (original and d20. A nicely original system and an evocative world. If you want to try it, go for the original).
  70. Demon City Shinjuku
  71. Demons
  72. Dominion Tank Police
  73. Don’t Look Back
  74. Dragon Quest (complete with that wonderful list of summonable demons).
  75. Dragon Hordes (more of a war game really, but some RPG aspects).
  76. Dream Park (a game where your playing a player of a character who can adapt to the game system. Best if you’ve read the books and know what you’re getting into).
  77. Dreamtime
  78. Duel
  79. Dying Earth (the original “Vancian” setting).
  80. Earthdawn
  81. El-Hazard (a Tri-Stat production, but essentially a separate game).
  82. Elfquest
  83. Elric
  84. Empire of the Petal Throne (Tekumal, and a seriously old-style classic).
  85. Enforcers
  86. Everlasting
  87. Everway
  88. Exalted (a nigh-unplayable rules set with errata that – at more than 160 pages – is longer than many games, but with White Wolf’s usual highly-readable fluff).
  89. Expendables
  90. Extreme Vengeance
  91. Fading Suns
  92. Fantasy Wargaming
  93. Fantasy Earth
  94. Feng Shui
  95. Fifth Cycle
  96. Forge out of Chaos
  97. Forgotten Futures
  98. Fringeworthy
  99. Furry Pirates
  100. Fusion
  101. Galactic Underground
  102. Gamma World (in both original and updated styles).
  103. Gangbusters
  104. Gatecrasher
  105. Gemini
  106. Geriatric Wars
  107. Ghostbusters (honestly, I’d use Bureau 13; it’s a lot more flexible).
  108. Giant Psychic Insects from Outer Space (OK, technically this goes with Don’t Look Back – but how could I pass up including this title?)
  109. Godlike (a one roll engine game, with a bunch of sample characters on this site under the “other games” tab at the top of the page).
  110. Godsend Agenda
  111. Greeping Death
  112. Gurahl (another Old World of Darkness subrace, but of some interest).
  113. GURPS (Cyberpunk, Discworld, Horror, Ice Age, Illuminati U, Lensman, Martial Arts, (The) Prisoner, Riverworld, Space, Special Ops, Supers, Swashbuckling, Time, Wild Cards, etcetera).
  114. Gypsy (Old World of Darkness)
  115. Hahlmabria (a very generic, and extremely forgettable, D&D clone).
  116. Harnmaster
  117. Heavy Metal
  118. Hengeyokai (Old World of Darkness East)
  119. Hero Wars (Glorantha)
  120. Heroes Unlimited
  121. Heroes Forever
  122. Heroes and Heroines
  123. High Colonies
  124. Hunter (Old World of Darkness).
  125. Imagine
  126. Immortal (very atmospheric, and with lovely art, but rather difficult to play).
  127. In Nomine (where both the angels and the demons are friggin’ nuts (TM))
  128. Indiana Jones (where your heroes are close to unkillable).
  129. Infinite Domains
  130. Insectia
  131. Iron Wind
  132. Ironclaw
  133. It Came from the Late Late Late Show (this one is a lot of fun; you’re an actor in a BAD movie).
  134. Jadeclaw
  135. James Bond OO7
  136. Justifiers (the system is hopelessly creaky, but the background is nice. I’d use Baba Yaga for this).
  137. Kindred of the East (Old World of Darkness again).
  138. Kult
  139. Land of the Rising Sun (a Chivalry and Sorcery spin-of, and as hard to play as that ever was).
  140. Legacy: War of Ages
  141. Legantia
  142. Legend Quest
  143. Legend of the Five Rings (we usually use a point-buy adaption that allows for building your own schools)
  144. Legendary Lives
  145. Lexicon Atlantis
  146. Little Fears (a game about being a child with horrible things after you. Not… pleasant).
  147. Lords of Creation
  148. Lost Souls
  149. Macho Women with Guns (once a joke, later a game – but where are the motorcycle aztec wrestling nuns? And how badly does even remembering that joke date me? Even more than the rest of this list?).
  150. Maelstrom
  151. Mage, The Ascension
  152. Man, Myth, and Magic
  153. Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP system. A lot of fun really, and character generation is a game in itself. There’s some stuff for this under the Other Games tab)
  154. Marvel Super Heroes (Current card-based system)
  155. Masterbook (the TORG successor).
  156. Masters of the Mind
  157. Mechanical Dream
  158. Mechwarrior
  159. Mega
  160. Megatraveler (an “updated” version of Traveler that more or less came and went).
  161. Mekton II
  162. Men in Black
  163. MERP / Middle Earth Role Playing
  164. Metabarons (what happened when West End lost the Star Wars license).
  165. Metamorphosis Alpha
  166. Midnight at the Well of Souls
  167. Millenniums End
  168. Mokole (Another race from the Old World of Darkness)
  169. Multiverser
  170. Mummy (Old World of Darkness)
  171. Murphy’s World (Monty Python meets AD&D meets the Apocalypse).
  172. Musketeers
  173. Mutants and Masterminds (d20, but sufficiently different to get it’s own listing).
  174. Mutazoids
  175. Nephelim (Original secretive-entities from ages past version).
  176. Nexus
  177. Nightbane (notable for creating REALLY random characters…)
  178. Nightlife
  179. Ninjas and Superspies
  180. Nobilis
  181. Noir
  182. Of Gods and Men
  183. One Roll Engine (the system for Monsters and Other Childish Things and assorted other games).
  184. Oriental Adventures (Not the d20 version, worth noting as being essentially AD&D 1.5)
  185. Ork
  186. Over the Edge (if this got much more “Rules-Lite” it would evaporate entirely).
  187. Palladium Fantasy Role Playing
  188. Pandemonium
  189. Paranoia (in various editions).
  190. Pelicar
  191. Pendragon (perhaps THE game of arthurian romance).
  192. Powers and Perils
  193. Price of Freedom
  194. Prime Directive
  195. Prince Valiant
  196. Project Twilight
  197. Providence
  198. Ravenstar
  199. Realm of the Gateway
  200. Recon (sneak-sneak-sneak-BLAM-you’re dead… the game is better than actually doing it, but it’s still rather less fun than you might think).
  201. RIFTS (and far too many supplements and worldbooks).
  202. Robin Hood
  203. Robotech
  204. Rolemaster (the closest any game has yet come to a complete list of everything).
  205. Rune (viking slaughterhouse. Need I say more?)
  206. Runequest
  207. S.LA Industries
  208. Saurions (a long-forgotten derivative of Chivalry and Sorcery).
  209. Sengoku
  210. Senzar
  211. Shadowrun (still one of the best, at least if you stick to editions 1-3).
  212. Shalkith Last Kin
  213. Shatterzone
  214. Ship of Fools
  215. Skyrealms of Jorune (for those who want a really exotic background).
  216. Sorcerer (White Wolf, in assorted versions)
  217. Space Master (Rolemaster version).
  218. Space 1889
  219. Spacemaster (yes, this is entirely separate from the Rolemaster version).
  220. Spacetime
  221. Spookshow (ever wonder why intelligence agents are called “spooks”? Now you’ll know).
  222. Star Wars (d6, the d20 version is included in the general d20 listing)
  223. Star Frontiers
  224. Star Trek RPG
  225. Stormbringer
  226. Sun and Storm
  227. Suzerain
  228. System Failure
  229. Tales of Gargenthar
  230. Tales from the Floating Vagabond
  231. Talislanta (a simple system but a nicely detailed world and background).
  232. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  233. Teenagers from Outer Space (have you seen my popcorn grenade? Oh wait! It’s under your seat!)
  234. Tenchi Muyo (another Tri-Stat production).
  235. The Fantasy Trip (Melee, Wizard, and Into the Labyrinth)
  236. The Blood
  237. The Primal Order
  238. Thieves World (a nice system if you want to focus on stealth and illegal operations).
  239. Throwing Stones
  240. Time Master
  241. Timelords (a Dr Who system)
  242. Timelords (A couple more by the same title, but unrelated to Dr Who or to each other).
  243. Tome of Neverworld
  244. Toon (you might as well not bother with a system here, but it’s fun).
  245. Top Secret (along with a bunch of other Hero System genre productions – sci-fi, fantasy, giant robots, and more. The Hero System does best with pulp heroes to superheroes though).
  246. TORG (the war for the multiverse!)
  247. Tractics (ok, it’s not really a RPG, but it was an ancestor of theirs).
  248. Traveler Classic
  249. Traveler, the New Era
  250. Tribe 8
  251. Trinity (psychics versus mutant monstrosities returned from beyond the stars!)
  252. Tunnels and Trolls
  253. Twilight 2000 (this is what you get for picking a near-future date for your game…)
  254. Underground
  255. Universe
  256. Unknown Armies
  257. Unsanctioned
  258. Usagi Yojimbo (yes, it is indeed cartoon rabbit samurai epics).
  259. Vampire, The Middle Ages
  260. Villains and Vigilantes
  261. W.H.A.T. (a generic system – with an acronym standing for nothing that I can recall…)
  262. War Gods (Turned out to be more of a miniatures war game, but usable)
  263. Warhammer Fantasy Role Play
  264. Warlock
  265. Warp World
  266. Waste World
  267. Wasted West
  268. Web of Stars
  269. Web of Heroes
  270. Web of  Horror
  271. Werewolf Wild West
  272. Werewolf the Apocalypse
  273. Whispering Vault (where you get to be horrors from beyond come to save reality).
  274. Witchcraft
  275. Wizard’s World
  276. Wizards (yes, a RPG taken from that old animated film)
  277. World Tree (an extremely well-written and highly recommended game)
  278. World of Darkess (New, and point-buy adaption)
  279. World of Synnibar (Yes, yes, I know, Boo Hiss)
  280. Worlds of Wonder (including psiworld, spaceworld, and superworld as I recall).
  281. Wraith, The Oblivion (a remarkably gray setting with very little in the way of actual goals).
  282. Ysgarth (a game with the most elaborate skills system I have ever seen).

Hm. There seems to be a distinct shortage of RPG’s in my print collection that begin with a “Q”, “X”, and “Z”. I must see if I can fix that. I think there are a few “Xeno-something” games in existence out there.

This also doesn’t include a selection of minigames and one-page things. Those are usually too thin to support an extended campaign.